First, this is my first cruise because I was sure I would hate the crowds, buffets etc. Now I love cruises. We had room 7582 which was a family spacious view (a window, no balcony). It was perfect. Small and dated (yes for my hotel standards) but really perfectly great for a family of 4. The window views were stunning, and it was HOT so I never would have opened a balcony anyway. I got to see the most incredible views while in air conditioning. Our room attendant Marilyn was lovely, our dining experience in the restaurant was incredible, a seat by the window every night (we dined early because we have a 6 year old so around 6pm) with excellent service (by Nila and Melvin).
The down side? The entertainment was HORRIBLE. Really, really awful. I think not only does the entertainment director not have children, I am guessing he hates them. I am on the day at sea right now and the entertainment options include a lecture on how to choose hotel rooms in Italy (in the MAIN CENTRUM), a towel folding class- no joke, and the highlight- a men's belly flopping contest. The first few nights they had karaoke, and my perception is that too many children were showing up singing "Let it Go" (totally get that, that would make anyone's ears bleed). MY solution? Have a family karaoke hour at 4pm or 7pm? And an adults only later. THEIR solution? Move it 10pm (I guess still too many kids), next evening 10pm specified adults only, (my guess, either still too many kids or no one came- because families WANT To do things together), next evening? 11pm adults only- no one shows up, no more karaoke. This is just an example- instead of catering to the demographic, the entertainment seem to resist it. Have adults AND families. When I asked if their were more activities that kids could do, I was directed time and time again to their "kids clubs"- but I want to BE with my kids. I totally appreciate babysitting services, but I want to vacation WITH my kids. I could have left them home with my parents if I wanted a separate vacation.
Another example, I guess there were too many kids dancing in the Centrum floor during the band playing (this is different than the 18+ DJ evening clubs, this is 7pmish 8pmish in the main hall. So instead of thinking- Hey- lets have a "family DJ dance club" from 7 to 9, or 8 to 10- they include notes on the daily planner about not letting kids run around (OF COURSE), and just start designating more and more events later and 18+. Totally get the need for the 18+ events, I don't want to hang out with a bunch of misbehaving crappy kids. But I do want to vacation WITH my kids, and I just wish they could try to accommodate both groups rather than just limiting the activities in general to late night partiers. (and partiers- please, party on, I was once with you- rock on- I just want some extra activities). For example, maybe, perhaps, skip the towel folding class? skip the belly flop contest? skip the scavenger hunts that no one does? skip the crossword/ wordsearch event? (I mean, by all means, provide crossword puzzles, but maybe those could be done independently and the space and personnel resources could be used to provide an activity someone wants to attend? (plus there were TWO of the crossword events today- morning and afternoon- I am sure they are compelling but maybe one could be an independent activity?)
It was perfect. Two twin beds that could be moved together, a trundle bed that rolled out under the couch, allowing the 4th person so sleep on the couch. The window was enormous and I swear every port we moved, we ended up with the most gorgeous view. It did not have a balcony, but it was August and too hot to open one anyway, this allowed me to have these huge views while staying in air conditioning.
The benefit of the tour was that they coordinated getting off and on the boat (which required ticketed charter boats) but Kotor itself is very very easy to navigate, so a tour is not necessary unless someone is seeking very specialized Kotor knowledge (which I think you could get from the guide).View All 44 Walking Tour Reviews
We enjoyed this tour very much.View All 11 Paleokatsriza Walking Tour Reviews
I cannot imagine touring Athens from the port of Piraeus without a tour because the port seems to be in a cement jungle and I would never have found my way anywhere. That said, we paid $136 per adult ($106 per kid) for the small group tour, and all that really ensured was a half full bus. The tour guide just kind of said- ok, see that "arch" as we drove by one, meet back there in three hours for the bus. Not only did I have an immediate panic attack, many other people did as well. Then the tour guide just kept insisting it was "right there on the map" (pointing to her map, which was different from the one she had distributed to everyone else). I paid for the tour so I wouldn't feel lost and disoriented in a foreign city- I paid a LOT, and I would select a different tour next time.View All 164 City Tour Reviews
I wish I could live here for the rest of my life, if this is not heaven on earth, I don't know what is.
Beautiful and easy to navigate.